Alonso to race Le Mans

 

 

It seems the Spanish Samurai isn’t holding out much hope for 2017 regs as already he’s made clear what he intends to do post F1 with an ultimatum.

“If cars are not fun next year, then it’s time to change what I compete in” reported German newspaper Bild.

The general consensus is that radical departures from the what the overtaking working group did for 2009 aero will likely cause less overtaking in F1 for ’17. The cars will have much more downforce with a much larger diffuser, a return to wide low rear wings and the inevitable increase in turbulence from wider wheels. Already cars find tailing another closely next to impossible.

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It’s no secret that Alonso admires the ‘great race’ at the Circuit la Sarthe having been a guest there when driving for Ferrari back in 2014. He accepted an invitation to be the honorary starter of the blue-riband round of the World Endurance Championship. The move “showing the strong links that exist between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and Ferrari” according to a statement from the Le Mans-organising club. Of course Ferrari had a strong presence in sportscar racing with their 458 GTE cars at the time, plus the usual cyclical speculation on whether they’d enter a team in the top category.

Could we see Ron Dennis allowing such a move whilst Alonso is still driving for the McLaren F1 team? Doubtful.

But Fernando’s contract is up in 2017 and we could see a shock move this time next year should the big WEC teams decide to return to 3 car teams – even if only for Le Mans.

“At the moment I’m still enjoying the racing [in F1]. It’s my life and all I really know how to do well,” acknowledged Fernando. “But it is my goal one day win the 24 Hours of Le Mans”.

The question is, which manufacturer will get him?

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13 responses to “Alonso to race Le Mans

  1. I’d prefer to see Fred aim for the Indy 500 first (being open-wheel) then dropping back to the old-man, closed-wheel, closed-cockpit Le Mans LMP1 category.

    It’d be fantastic to see someone tip their hat to the history of motorsport and unashamedly aim for the triple crown.

    • Yes,open wheel has always been the top formula and I fully agree with everything you say but in the last few years the WEC has closed the gap between sports cars and prototype racing. I feel this has happened due to the regulations of the current F1 and this is the problem our sport is facing. The f1 cars of today are something pretty special but to the switch on generation they just don’t hold the same attraction as the out of the world looking and sounding endurance racers. If you look at the cost to the casual fan then other Motorsports will always win over f1,it is just missing something at the moment so I can understand why Alonso could be wanting a move, at the moment he gets to drive 2hrs on a Sunday,2hrs on a Saturday and maybe 3hours on a Friday and that’s it and that is if the car works,tyres last and the milage is ok on the chassis and power train. With this in mind he gets to show his hand maybe 3 to 4 hours at most over 20 wks and even then he can’t push to the maximum but must drive to eco regulations. Yes,wec is long,it can involve fuel saving and tyre control but it’s getting time on the track,pushing the limits of what is possible and developing a full racing machine so I can see the sense,F1 needs to watch its back because soon others will see the benefits(pity the drivers pay isn’t as much lol but I am sure that this isn’t a factor😂)

      • Wec is amazing. Best example is the last 6 hours of spa. After six hours the top 3 was still in the same lap! And what’s more there have been overtakes, there was drama, changes for p1, strategy difference, crashes, and most of all immense speed.
        (BTW salvu, if you read this, I’m sorry. This message was to positive. I’ll get back to my negative ways now)

        • always best to stick with your speciality , at least you will not lose your identity and carry over brands.

      • When I say WEC is an “old man” category I’m really talking about the closed cockpit and the closed wheel thing – drivers don’t have to deal with the wind / rain / bugs plus you can bump into a few things and not get a puncture.

        It’s like the guy who buys a Jeep Wrangler with all the off road factory options after he fell off his Harley or got wet too many times riding it.

        In my own world, you know you’re getting old when you’re tempted to trade your roofless, doorless kit car (mit aeroscreen) in on one of those nice Lotus Elises.

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